For the last week or so, Ozzie Guillen has been praising Juan Uribe’s defense at third. The Sox skipper has even gone so far as to say that Uribe’s defense has been on par with what Joe Crede had been doing for years.
It seems that Crede was listening and decided to show Guillen just how good he really is.
The White Sox former postseason hero made three spectacular plays yesterday, helping the Sox earn a split in the strange doubleheader and extend their division lead to one full game over the nipping Twins.
A day that started with frustration ended in smiles after great defense, a solid start by Clayton Richard, and a gutsy effort by the bullpen combined to produce a 4-3 White Sox victory over the last-place Orioles.
The alarm bells that were ringing across Sox land after Jose Contreras went down have been silenced so far. Since that day, the White Sox fifth starters are a perfect 3-0, including two-straight stellar performances by Clayton Richard, a name that just might become a mainstay in the White Sox's rotation for years to come.
The story of the day, though, was the return of Joe Crede after almost a month on the DL.
After making an insane diving catch in the first game, he was all over the hot corner in the nightcap. In the sixth, he made an incredible diving catch with a man on to keep the Orioles at bay.
But his play in the eighth inning, with a man on and Matt Thornton on the bump, was classic Crede.
Off the bat, the ball looked ticketed for the left-field corner, and the Sox's 'pen looked like it was in the process of yet another eighth-inning meltdown. Yet there was Joe Crede, leaping into the air and snagging a ball that was seemingly already by him.
The look on Matt Thornton’s face said it all, “Thanks Joe, and welcome back.” The play most likely saved a run and the game.
Juan Uribe has been steady, perhaps even a little more consistent than Joe has been in probably his worst defensive season. But these are all plays that Uribe doesn’t come up with.
These are plays that no one but Joe Crede makes, unless your name is Brooks Robinson.
It’s always nice to win a game by more than one run, but sometimes a one-run victory can help a bullpen get its swagger back. Octavio Dotel looked good in his one-plus inning, and Matt Thornton threw strikes to get through the eighth.
It was business as usual for Bobby Jenks, as he remained perfect since coming off the DL in late June. After a shaky start, the Sox closer is turning in his best season to date. Last night, he even managed to close a game out against the Orioles, a team that has gotten to him four times in the last two seasons.
At the end of the day, the 'pen held, with more than a little help from a man named Joe. Welcome back Joe Crede.